Robin Migration News: February 17, 2016
By Rita Welch

Journey North's citizen scientists reported robin sightings in 40 states and 2 provinces this past week. In addition to seeing the birds feasting on winter berries, observers also reported some surprises!

Robin in Winter
Catching fish at the edge of a pond. Wayne Oaks, Edmonton, Alberta

Gone Fishing?
It is not common for robins to eat fish—and hardly ever when an observer has a camera ready — but it does happen. Wayne Oaks reported from northeast Edmonton, Alberta:

"These photos were taken on February 5th, just a little after noon. Hermitage Park has a series of variously-sized ponds. One of the smaller ponds must have a source of warmer water that manages to keep an area unfrozen. We were hearing from a few birders about this flock of about 20 robins that have surprisingly stayed the winter and are frequently seen pulling small fish out of the pond. The smaller fish are readily swallowed whole on the spot. Larger fish are flown off into a nearby treed area where there is less of a risk of theft or predation."

Robin in Winter
A robin catches a fish on February 5th at Hermitage Park in Alberta.

Finding Food in Winter
Snow may still be covering the ground in many places, but robins are finding food. In cold weather, food is even more important than shelter. Robins need food to fuel their metabolism, giving them the fat and energy they need to move, stay warm, and survive.

Explore: What do robins eat in winter?

Observe with the eyes of a scientist. Collect information from various sources. Share your discoveries.



Report Your Sightings
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Next Update February 24, 2016